This, that and the other. Mostly the other
Ailing T20 format under threat again
The troubled, impoverished format of international T20 cricket received yet another jolt recently with Hashim Amla becoming the latest player to announce he was quitting it for the more bountiful rewards of Test cricket. Already rocked by the departures of Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Clarke, Daniel Vettori and other stars disillusioned with this bankrupt version of the game, it remains to be seen whether the sport's youngest and most brittle iteration will be able to come back from this latest blow.
In a bid to popularise the troubled format, the ICC is said to be considering the unprecedented move of allowing T20 games to be played in the middle of the day, with a red ball instead of white.
Sehwag makes a spectacle of himself
After being diagnosed with vision problems and advised to wear spectacles at the crease, Virender Sehwag proceeded to get himself out in the first innings against Australia while in the act of searching for the ball (as it fell back onto his stumps in slow motion) like a blindfolded child waving a stick at what he thinks is a piñata but is in fact kindly old Aunt Esperanca visiting from Tijuana. Said Sehwag: "The great thing about wearing spectacles is that you can attribute each successive failure with the bat to a pending adjustment in lens power." The batsman then realised he had been talking into a shoe instead of a microphone, and that he wasn't at an interview after all but in a women's footwear store he had wandered into somewhere on Mount Road.
Left-hander elegant, but not nearly lazy enough
Jonathan Englund is one of the most talented left-hand batsmen to emerge from the ranks of youth division cricket anywhere in the world. But Englund is discriminated against by fellow southpaws, coaches and academies for one seemingly unforgivable failing: his elegance is not lazy enough.
The young batsman recalls when other lefties at a cricket camp run by David Gower taunted him to the point of tears for being "too industrious" at the crease, or "energetic" in his shot-making. His confidence shattered, Englund eventually left the academy.
"It's heartbreaking to turn away someone so obviously laden with talent," admitted Gower. "But at the end of the day, no matter how elegant your batting is, if you¹re too intense as a left-hander, too ambitious, even, and not nonchalant and cavalier enough in your approach to your innings, well, then you have no place at my academy. And if you want my honest opinion, you have no right to call yourself a left-hander worth your weight in sloth."
Englund is said to be sitting on his heels and waiting for Graeme Smith to retire and start an academy of his own.
Batsman stuck on nelson loses wife to wicketkeeper
A young second-division batsman who had the misfortune to be stuck overnight on the dreaded number 111, or nelson, suffered the consequences in ignominious form: by losing his childhood sweetheart to the team's wicketkeeper. "The worst part of this is just knowing that if I'd scored one run more or one run less, Anita wouldn't have left me for Gareth," said the inconsolable player.
According to a study, being stuck on nelson is the unluckiest way of losing your wife to a wicketkeeper, unluckier even than having a black cat walk cross your path or a finding a black cap emblazoned with a silver fern on your head in a Test match.
DRS to bring in facial-mapping technology
Ricky Ponting was recently fined $250 for throwing his bat up in the air in frustration after being run out for 95 in a domestic limited-overs match. In related news, it has been learnt that Cricket Australia has filed a petition with the ICC to bring under the scope of the DRS the further responsibility of monitoring a batsman's facial expressions following a dismissal. If, according to facial-mapping technology similar to the kind used to nail criminals, a batsman is found to be frowning beyond an accepted limit and/or doesn't spontaneously break into the song "Singin' in the rain" on the way back to the dressing room following a dismissal, he is liable to be held in contempt of the laws of the game and of humanity at large.
Computer-generated duck to be updated
That adorable computer-generated duck waddling disconsolately across the television screen after a batsman gets out for nought is an institution as Australian as Merv Hughes' moustache sweating over the barbie somewhere in the outback while an idle kangaroo watches on. It was understandable, then, that there was much excitement when Channel 9 announced that the much-loved bird would be receiving an update. In a Steve Jobs-style reveal at a function held to mark the occasion, Channel 9 executive Brad McNamara showed the world the new walking duck, which, as it turns out, is actually not a duck at all but live footage of whatever it is Rohit Sharma is doing at that particular moment in time.
R Rajkumar tweets here
All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.